University Considers Tuition Increase as Budget Is Developed
Submitted by Nile Mueller
Phone: (907) 474-5467
With the University of Alaska's FY04 operating budget in development, regents will begin considering an administration request for 10 percent tuition increases in each of the next two fiscal years.
The regents will meet Thursday and Friday, Sept. 12 and 13, in the University Commons on the UAA campus in Anchorage.
Tuition at the University of Alaska has increased annually, but only at the rate of inflation, about 3.5 percent, each year since 1995. President Mark Hamilton is recommending that for next year there be an increase of approximately 6.4 percent in addition to the 3.6 percent inflation adjustment for a total increase of 10 percent.
"The university has started new programs, hired new faculty, and greatly increased its services to students, all items that come with a price," Hamilton said. "In view of the value that has been added, this tuition increase is well justified."
Nationally, the average tuition and fees increased 7.1 percent from 2000-01 to 2001-02. During the same period, tuition and fees at the University of Alaska increased only 3.3 percent. For this fall's term, 12 states are considering tuition hikes of 15 percent or more. Nineteen states are proposing tuition rate increases of between 8 and 15 percent. The remaining 19 states are considering increases of up to 8 percent.
There will be no action taken on the budget or proposed tuition increase at this meeting. Action is scheduled for the November 12 meeting in Anchorage.
The full Board of Regents will begin its meeting Thursday at 8 a.m. for President Hamilton's report and other reports. Public testimony is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. in Room 107, University Commons at UAA.
Following public testimony, committees of the board will meet Thursday afternoon and also on Friday morning after the full board meets again at 8 a.m. for public testimony until 9 a.m.
On Thursday night regents will meet for dinner at the Cuddy Center Dining Room with their guest speaker, Dr. Margaret Wheatley who is in Alaska to participate in a conference on women in higher education. The conference is being held at UAA on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14. Dr. Wheatley will speak again at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, in the Wendy Williamson Auditorium in an appearance that is open to both conference participants and the general public.
On Friday, the full board will meet from 2 to 5 p.m. An executive session is planned for the latter part of the meeting and is anticipated to last an hour and a half.
Agenda items are listed here by committee or origin:
Facilities & Land Management Committee
• Consider approval of the strategic plan of the Statewide Office of Land Management.
• Receive a report on the external review that was done of the university's Information Technology System Services.
• Receive a status report on university investments in capital facilities, construction in progress and other projects.
• Receive an update on UAA Center for Community and Technical College.
• Review the preliminary FY04-09 capital budget request.
• Discuss items that need to be considered in the university's strategic planning process.
Human Resources Committee
• Receive briefings on the university's health care plan, the external review done on Human Resources and an update on the re-classification system now underway.
Planning & Development Committee
• Consider by-law revisions to reflect the board's committee structure, and clarify officer duties.
• Review progress on strategic planning and provide guidance to the administration on the process for planning activities that are to result in approval of a UA Strategic Plan 2009 at the December 2002 meeting.
• Hold an executive session to discuss the annual presidential review and other personnel matters.
Academic & Student Affairs Committee
• Receive a report on the status of the FY04 operating budget request and the proposed student tuition increase.
• Receive updates on teacher education, various accreditation activities, and on the Rasmuson Endowed Chair in Economics at UAA.
• Receive a preliminary report on classified research at the University of Alaska.
• Receive a report on the external review done on UA Student Services, and on Information Technology.
• Receive status reports on Title IX and the UA Statewide Council for Vocational and Technical Education.
• Hold a discussion regarding baccalaureate degree requirement for American/Alaska History Course.
• Consider approval of an Associate of Applied Science in Theatre at Prince William Sound Community College, and of an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Systems Technology at UAA, and extension of the Bachelor of Education Degree program at UAF.
Finance & Audit Committee
• Receive a report on FY04 operating budget request development and the proposed tuition increase.
• Receive a report on the FY02 Alaska Science and Technology Foundation shortfall.
• Do a preliminary review of the university's FY04-09 capital budget request.
• Receive an update on the sale of 2002 Series K general revenue bonds by the university.
• Discuss items related to strategic planning.
All meetings of the Board of Regents and its committees, except for executive sessions, are open to the public.
During the meeting, messages can be left at University Commons, UAA, phone (907) 751-7200, or fax (907) 751-7281. Messages should indicate that they are for participants in the Board of Regents' meeting.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, (907) 474-6311.